Light-beam oscilloscope

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 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek

Vibrations can only rarely be seen with the naked eye. Converted into an electrical signal, they can be observed using an oscilloscope.

An oscilloscope is a device for observing oscillations. Displacements from the original position are plotted in one direction, perpendicularly, in addition, this movement is "drawn apart" over time by the writing medium moving quickly from one side to the other. This produces a so-called path-time diagram, frequently a periodic vibration pattern.

Today a picture tube is used to show the vibrations, similar to a television, on which a beam of electrons "writes" a bright curve, or a computer screen is used. In the 1930s, when the device from the collection of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) originated, the devices were not as well developed. This is why a light beam was used for writing the curves on a ground-glass screen. It was deflected using a rotating mirror. The vibration was modulated on the beam using a small mirror which was excited using electromagnetic force in a coil-magnetic field combination.

Manufacturer: Siemens & Halske, Berlin
Date of construction: around 1935



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